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Create a work culture in which employees feel comfortable.

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Every organization has its own specific culture. It is formed by values, priorities, employees, and much more. Together, these factors naturally create the day-to-day environment of a company: the work culture. What do we think is healthy work culture? A culture where employees feel valued, safe, and at ease and where there are plenty of opportunities for growth. In collaboration with The Ladders, we took a closer look at a number of factors that influence employee career decisions. Many of these factors have a significant impact on work culture. Using our proprietary survey techniques, we've asked thousands of people across the US about the things they care most about in their careers.

We found that happy employees are more productive and that successful managers constantly rate employee satisfaction. Do you pay too little attention to how satisfied your employees are with their job and your company? Then it becomes difficult to keep your current employees on board and attract the best new employees. We'll give you a few simple steps to create a healthier work culture in your company.

1. Increase employee engagement

Employee engagement (employees who are "emotionally and psychologically attached to their job and workplace") is essential to achieving positive employee relationships and successful sales. A recent Gallup survey found that only a third of American workers feel engaged in their work. It also found that highly engaged employees 17% are more productive and 41% less likely to be absent. Here's how you can increase employee engagement:

Hire and develop great managers. A healthy work culture starts at the top.
Give managers the tools they need. In turn, with the right tools for hiring the right people, your managers can build effective, motivated, and engaged teams.
Set clear goals together that is practically achievable. Employees need to know what goals are set for them personally, for the team, and for your company. Meaningful goals should relate to their everyday experiences and be truly achievable. Setting these goals together with employees makes them feel almost four times more engaged at work.

Measure first, then tackle. You can't solve problems you don't know about. A good idea is to first simply ask employees how engaged they are with their work and their workplace. With a simple survey, you can gather vital information about how engaged your employees currently feel at work. It's often about context. Think about how your results compare to other companies of your size or in your industry.

2. Increase Employee Retention

Employee turnover has always been a major concern for employers, especially in the hospitality industry, for example. Historically, however, there have been companies and careers where employees have continued to work for 20 years or more.

But nowadays we see more and more on a resume that people have worked for one or two years at several companies. Half of the employees polled in recent Gallup surveys were looking for a new job or were keeping an eye out for better opportunities. And 35% had changed jobs in the past three years. Here's how to increase employee retention:

Give your staff a fair pay increase on a regular basis. Many employees who are actively looking for a new job often want to earn more. It is therefore essential that you keep your salary competitive with other companies by regularly increasing the salary of your employees.
Guarantee opportunities for upward mobility. Many employees (especially millennials) quit because they feel they have not been given appropriate opportunities to advance in their careers.
Allay their long-term concerns. One of the main reasons employees look for or take another job is that they are looking for more stability. Employees leave when layoffs occur regularly or when they feel that their job security depends on arbitrary management goals.

3. Enabling a flexible working day

Employees of today no longer want to work five days a week or eight hours a day as standard. The main fringe benefits for current employees are greater flexibility (including working from home), four-day working weeks, and/or flexible working hours, allowing them to work the required hours when it suits them.

Time and again, our research shows that flexible schedules and work-from-home options influence the decision to take or leave a job.
More than half of employees say they would switch jobs to get flexible working hours.
37% of employees would be willing to change jobs if they could choose where they worked part of the time.

4. Improve communication with employees

The annual performance review used to be the norm. But this one-sided set-up is beginning to give way to more progressive communication with employees. Today's employees want ongoing feedback, clear goals, and a collaborative work environment that is fair, relevant, and stimulating. You can improve communication in a few easy steps.

Visit someone often. Through regular, informal contact with managers, employees know how their day-to-day work is linked to your company's goals. Our data shows that employees who talk to their manager about their goals and successes at least every six months are almost three times more likely to feel engaged and motivated than other employees.
Be available. So you are not just there for your employees if they have questions, problems, or concerns. During conversations, make sure employees feel heard. Clarify and reformulate what they say. This shows that you really understand them. Embrace them, let them know you understand their frustrations and support them in solving work-related problems.

5. Building a strong employer image

Companies today have to pay as much attention to their brand (their reputation) as they do to their brand. Unfortunately, many companies ignore their employer brand altogether or devote little or no resources to it. While companies don't have to invest as much money in their internal brand as they do in their external marketing activities, for example, they do have to take this into account.

With a strong employer brand, you attract employees and they stay with your company. They become your business advocates and you set yourself apart from the competition. This is especially important in this technological age where competition is increasing and we are constantly connected. Companies like Glassdoor publish company reviews, CEO scores, salary statements, interview reviews and questions, benefits reviews and much more. This way everyone can see how former and current employees rate your organization. Candidates can therefore literally shop for the jobs and companies that best meet their needs. Employees have become the consumers of the workplace.

There is no easy solution to improving the work culture. It takes time, the managers have to do their part and you need momentum. But satisfied and engaged employees are worth all this effort.